Sevransky's college notes and quotes

Sevransky's college notes and quotes

Sevransky's college notes and quotes
By TED SEVRANSKY

Clemson

If you don’t think Clemson is soft after ugly losses to Alabama and Maryland in the first month of the season, read this quote from Terrapins linebacker Alex Wujiak: The coaches told us at the half, "if we hit them in the mouth, they're going to fold, so that's what we came out and did.” Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen: “We won this one with our hearts, not with our ability or our technique.”

Meanwhile, Tommy Bowden has 12 days to clean up the mess left behind in their second half meltdown against the Terps prior to their ACC showdown at Wake Forest.

Bowden didn’t sound too confident in his post-game news conference: “We self-imploded today. We didn't play sharp today and that was the reason we lost.” The loss marked the seventh time in Bowden’s 10 seasons as the Tigers head coach that his ranked Clemson squad has lost at home to an unranked opponent.

The vaunted ‘Thunder and Lightning’ duo of James Davis and CJ Spiller combined for just 31 yards between them in the second half against Maryland. Spiller wasn’t looking forward to the aftermath of the defeat: “Ten days of hearing how terrible we are and how we can't win. But we'll come together...”

Florida

The Gators certainly did not take their home loss as 23-point favorites to Ole Miss lightly. Reigning Heisman winner Tim Tebow was near tears at the podium following the game: “I'm sorry. I'm extremely sorry. We were hoping for an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida's never done here. But I promise you one thing: a lot of good will come out of this. You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of this season and you'll never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season, and you'll never see a team play harder than we will the rest of this season”

More from Tebow: “I want it to stay in our hearts and keep hurting. This will motivate me personally and I believe everybody else, the coaches and the rest of the players, to never let something like this happen again, especially when we feel we're better than a team and don't play up to our ability.”

Florida head coach Urban Meyer didn’t sugarcoat the loss either: “It's awful. Bad, bad stuff. We'll find out what kind of team we are.” Right now, the Gators are not a dominant offensive team. Remember, Florida scored more than 40 points on eight different occasions last season, but they haven’t even approached that number since their opening day win against Hawaii back in August.

Houston

After seeing their lives, their practice schedules, and their season fall into disarray following devastation of Hurricane Ike, the Houston Cougars bounced back with a strong upset win at East Carolina this past Saturday, earning the 17-point victory as 10 1/2-point underdogs. First year head coach Kevin Sumlin: “Being on the road wasn't a big deal. I liked our energy all week. I liked our energy in pregame. That carried over to the game. I think you can see the potential that is in this team.”

Houston's 621 yards were the fourth-most ever allowed by the Pirates and most since coach Skip Holtz took over before the 2005 season. And if you’re thinking about betting the Cougars under the total in any upcoming game, read this quote from East Carolina safety Van Eskridge first: “After they'd run the first play, they'd hurry right back up to the line and run that next play. Sometimes it kind of caught us off guard and took us a while to get adjusted to it.”

Cougars defensive end Phillip Hunt: “We wanted to get the season turned around on this game. We just wanted to set ourselves up for the rest of the season by coming out with a win this time.”

If the Cougars can avoid some of the turnovers that have plagued them in recent weeks (-10 on offense, only three forced turnovers from the defense in their last three games), we can project them to be at or near the top of the C-USA West before this season is through.

Texas

Oklahoma and Missouri have garnered the national headlines in the Big 12 this year, but Texas is just one of the myriad of quality teams that haven’t gotten the publicity they deserve in the nation’s best conference so far in 2008. Yes, I said it – the Big 12 is better than the SEC right now, and the Longhorns are one of the teams to beat right now.

Senior offensive lineman Cedric Dockery, following the Longhorns 52-10 win over Arkansas on Saturday: “This is the best we've played since the national title year. It shows up on the scoreboard and in the win column.”

Head coach Mack Brown talking about junior quarterback Colt McCoy, a three-year starter: “Colt is playing as well as any quarterback in the country. It would be hard to imagine anyone playing better. Colt's confidence is just oozing.” McCoy, talking about Texas’s easy run through non-conference play: “We did what we needed to do. Our total mindset is on conference play.”

Wake Forest

Wake Forest was another heavy favorite caught in the upset bug this past Saturday, losing outright at home to Navy behind a barrage of Riley Skinner turnovers. Demon Deacons head coach Jim Grobe: “We weren't surprised that they were tough against the run. I think the ability to not throw the football without turning the ball over was what hurt us today.”

Navy came into the game having forced only six turnovers in their first four games, with one of the weaker secondaries in all of college football. Meanwhile, Skinner led the NCAA in completion percentage last year and hadn’t thrown a single interception in his first three games of the season. But Skinner threw four picks against Navy and lost a fumble as well. Skinner: “It's pretty deflating for an offense and a defense when you do that. It's all on me.”

The Demon Deacons had earned a reputation for disciplined play, but they were done in by more than just their mistake-prone quarterback. Starting left tackle Jeff Birdsong was ejected, they couldn't run the ball, and the defense couldn't stop the Midshipmen’s ground game. The latter problem may be Grobe’s most important challenge as Wake gears up for a showdown with Clemson on ESPN next Thursday Night.

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